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The effect of cataract extraction on intraocular pressure

Slabaugh, Mark A.; Chen, Philip P.

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: March 2014 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - p 122–126
doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000033
GLAUCOMA: Edited by Donald L. Budenz

Purpose of review To examine the current literature covering the long-term effect of cataract extraction on intraocular pressure (IOP).

Recent findings As a result of the high rate of cataract surgery, the impact on IOP continues to be the subject of multiple studies in different populations. Recent publications include those that distinguish patients with open angles from those with more narrow angles, as well as prospective analyses that address the impact of regression to the mean and other types of bias on the effect of postoperative IOP lowering.

Summary There are sufficient data to suggest that cataract surgery provides a lowering effect on IOP in the long term. This effect appears to be proportional to preoperative IOP. Eyes with higher preoperative IOP have the greatest average lowering, whereas eyes with IOP in the lower range of statistically normal tend to have an IOP that is unchanged from baseline or even higher following cataract surgery. In patients with narrow angles, the IOP-lowering effect appears to also be proportional to the degree of anterior chamber deepening induced by cataract surgery.

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Correspondence to Mark Slabaugh, MD, Box 359608, 325 Ninth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 2499, USA. Tel: +1 206 744 2020; fax: +1 206 685 7055; e-mail:

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins